The Punjab Police on Friday arrested two members of a Khalistani module who were allegedly engaged in propagating the ‘Referendum 2020’ campaign by affixing banners and posters in public places in Amritsar.
‘Referendum 2020’ is a campaign that seeks to garner support for a separate state for Sikhs — Khalistan.
The accused were identified as Sukhraj Singh alias Raju and Malkit Singh alias Meetu, police said.
Information was received from reliable sources by Commissionerate Police Amritsar about a campaign being run to disseminate the message of ‘Referendum 2020’ by putting up banners and posters in various public places, a police spokesperson said.
It was found that Sukhraj, a resident of Tarn Taran’s village Nagoke, was making the banners and posters at his residence along with his associate Malkit, a resident of Amritsar, he said.
Initial investigations revealed that they were receiving funds from overseas as part of the campaign started by Gurpartap Singh Pannu, legal advisor of Sikh for Justice — a New York-based organisation, he added.
Dyes, banners and paint were recovered during a raid on Sukhraj’s residence.
Some more material was recovered from an under-construction bridge at Kot Mit Singh Canal, where the duo had affixed banners, the police spokesperson said.
Sukhraj, who is unemployed, told police that he has been associated with the SFJ for the past one year and had put up the posters at various places.
For this, he was being paid installments of Rs 25,000-50,000, and had so far received Rs 2 lakh, the spokesperson said.
He usually received the money through Hawala channels and occasionally through accounts of other persons, he added.
Malkit reportedly worked as a bus conductor.
A case has been registered at Sultanwind police station in Amritsar and the two accused have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC, the spokesperson said.